Augustus AD 69 - 79 (1 July AD 69 - 24 June 79)
Titus Flavius Vespasianus.
Husband of Domitilla the Elder;
Father of Titus, Domitian and Domitilla the Younger;
Father-in-low of Domitia;
Grandfather of Julia Titi.
Titus Flavius Vespasian was the son of a knight who served as tax collector, but on his mother’s side he belonged to a senatorial family. He was a capable general and a honest administrator, qualities that earned him high incumbencies, but little money, to the point that he became bankrupt and was only saved by his brother. He fell out of favor with Nero for falling asleep while Nero was singing but was later recalled and put in charge of Judaea just in time for the First Jewish revolt. Vespasian suppressed the revolt and by 68 held the entire province except Jerusalem. Learning about Nero’s death, he recognized Galba and then Vitellius, but in the meanwhile made alliances with the governors of Syria and Egypt. With their support on July 1, 69 we claimed the imperial title. His adherents in the Balkans having cleared the ground and captured Rome in late 69, Vespasian took his time and only entered the capital in October 70, leaving his son Titus to finish off the Jewish resistance. His accession marked an end to the civil wars and celebration of peace was a consistent element of his public appearances in person and on artifacts. Like Augustus, Vespasian new how to treat people, especially the army. He broke the large Danubian and Rhine camps into smaller ones containing a legion each and mixed races in military units, but he acknowledged the soldiers’ importance by dating his reign from the time of his acclamation in Egypt rather the entry in Rome. He further centralized the administration on behalf of the imperial power and at the expense of the Senate, but was careful not to burden the provinces with too much taxes, even when raising exactions quite steeply. He was a workaholic person, and a really accessible head of state. Among his lasting legacies are the foundations of the Colosseum and the Temple of Peace. He died on June 24, 79, struggling to his feet on his deathbed with the words “An emperor ought to die standing.”
Mints: Alexandria, Antioch, Byzantium, Ephesus, Judaea, Lugdunum, Philippi, Poetovio, Rome, Samasota, Tarraco, Tyre.
List all Vespasian coins in the Catalog.